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Archive 2020 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?

  
 
ahreno
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I want to step up my macro photography of cannabis plants. Looking to ad a macro rail to my bag. Figured i'd post here as part of my research. I worked an odd job and made an unexpected $350 so i was thinking that would be a good enough buy in.

So far in my research, i'd say i'm leaning towards the Qool Rail 250https://www.mjkzz.com/product-page/qool-rail-250. ( no affiliation of course). or the Wemacro RailQool Rail 250

Or maybe i'm better going cheap with something $80 off amazon


I'd also love a recommendation for an affordable light ring.



Feb 25, 2020 at 01:42 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I don't use my rail a lot but I have an Oben MFR4-5 mounted on an Edelkrone Z head. The Oben works OK but I did replace the clamp with a lever release clamp. I like that the Oben rail has a detent at left/right centering. It's a simple rig at a decent price I think it was $100.


Feb 25, 2020 at 03:10 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I have no experience with this one but it claims to have 0.01mm adjustment.

SWEBO LS-001 @$180
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VN3LH16?ref=myi_title_dp



Feb 25, 2020 at 03:14 PM
ahreno
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


thanks for the options. I'm curious if the electric ones offer a benefit? to me it seems like $300 vs $180 is worth the difference if it's electrically controlled. I can't say i'm very delicate handed (i'm 6'6" with big hands) so it might benefit me to have the electric controlled rail? i could see the savings of $300 vs $80 being worth it perhaps


Feb 25, 2020 at 05:06 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I use a Contax focus rail with my Mamiya M645 A 120mm f/4 Macro. I mount it on a 12" general-purpose rail, which gives convenient adjustments for coarse movements, using the clamp on the GP rail, and fine movements, with the Contax rail gears. Other 'alt' focus rails from Pentax and etc are pretty good (and a bit less expensive), but the Contax is the best I've used. You should be able to get a Contax focus rail on eBay for about half of your budget.



© jcolwell 2019


Contax focus rail on Hejnar 12




Feb 26, 2020 at 06:26 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


This is my rig. The Z head is sitting on a Jobu table top pod. The Edelkrone is a very solid piece of kit, check out the reviews of the Oben rail on B&H.







Feb 26, 2020 at 10:03 AM
tntcorp
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


ahreno wrote:
thanks for the options. I'm curious if the electric ones offer a benefit? to me it seems like $300 vs $180 is worth the difference if it's electrically controlled. I can't say i'm very delicate handed (i'm 6'6" with big hands) so it might benefit me to have the electric controlled rail? i could see the savings of $300 vs $80 being worth it perhaps


some motorized rails are connected and electronically control by a computer (laptop) via an usb interface. travell distance and travel increments are set via the software app. i've not seen any motorized rails with its own stand-alone control box.

you can take the set of captured images and focus stacked in your favorite software.



Feb 26, 2020 at 11:49 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


Bought one of these a few years ago on ebay for under 20 bucks. For the 2 or 3 times I needed it, it worked fine. The lead on the thread is kind of coarse but still workable.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Neewer-Pro-4-Way-Macro-Focusing-Focus-Rail-Slider-with-1-4-Inch-Quick-Shoe-Plate/383161643422?hash=item593636b19e:g:tIkAAOSw94tdgzma








Feb 29, 2020 at 02:36 AM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


i have been using the Kirk FR-1 for years when my work requires a somewhat close up view. i guess if you are working in a fixed location and have external power always available the motorized one is kind of fun to work with. but when it comes down to the basics with the precision tool (with a well made lead thread and dampening) i don't care how big your hands are you should be able to nail it every time manually. you will have good rotational feel and then there is the visual feedback. it also doesn't require really much "support" equipment to run.







Feb 29, 2020 at 05:26 AM
snowblind-2
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


ahreno wrote:
I want to step up my macro photography of cannabis plants. Looking to ad a macro rail to my bag.

I'd also love a recommendation for an affordable light ring.


Iím your guy. 😀 I have slide, geared, and electronic rails and use them often for cannabis shots. I need more details about your current lenses and future goals.


Matt







Mar 06, 2020 at 08:08 PM
ahreno
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


Awesome, I have a Canon 60D with a sigma 1:1 lens 105 mm f2.8

For now it's just fun and practising. I live in Mendo and ma in the industry so it's always a thought to do some for pay.

I did splurge and buy one of the motorized ones.

snowblind-2 wrote:
Iím your guy. 😀 I have slide, geared, and electronic rails and use them often for cannabis shots. I need more details about your current lenses and future goals.

Matt






Mar 06, 2020 at 08:11 PM
sjms
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


yet another thing to plug in and worry about power.


Mar 06, 2020 at 08:40 PM
ahreno
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I lived off grid for three years so I understand what you mean but it does come with a battery pack and I really don't see.myself doing this anywhere without power. I won't be doing it without lights that also use power

sjms wrote:
yet another thing to plug in and worry about power.




Mar 06, 2020 at 08:53 PM
sjms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


hope you get what you need out of it.


Mar 06, 2020 at 09:00 PM
snowblind-2
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


ahreno wrote:
Awesome, I have a Canon 60D with a sigma 1:1 lens 105 mm f2.8

For now it's just fun and practising. I live in Mendo and ma in the industry so it's always a thought to do some for pay.

I did splurge and buy one of the motorized ones.


Doh! Maybe treat that motorized rail like you are going to return it... because you probably will. Sorry. Just speaking the truth.

Serious focus stacking really isn't needed that much at 1:1 as the DOF is still reasonable at that point. In those instances the speed of a geared rail far surpasses the automation of a motorized rail and you can even get by with a long arca plate. Don;t forget that you need to buy focus stacking software and that is $200-$300 more.

That said - I wholeheartedly recommend the Kirk FR-2 Focusing rail - https://www.kirkphoto.com/rails/focusing-rail-fr-2.html - for everything up to 1:5 macro. At magnification beyond 5X problems with diffraction and lighting make a motorized rail almost a requirement but it needs to be a rail that can move in <10 micron increments and I'm not sure all rails can.

Here are a couple of shots moving between Canon 180mm macro from "normal" distances, to 1:1, to the Canon MPE65mm going all the way to 1:7. My biggest stack is maybe 11 images... so I have not even used my motorized rail yet.

You can see more images @glass_light_photo on instagram.


Matt
























Mar 06, 2020 at 10:15 PM
snowblind-2
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


Might be your lucky day.

Kirk has two of their slide focusing rails on sale on their blemished page. 7.5" and 5.5" rails that include a rotatable clamp for $90. https://www.kirkphoto.com/blemished-demo/miscellanous.html

I still recommend the geared rail but for less than 1/3 the price the slide is a very good option.


Matt



Mar 06, 2020 at 10:26 PM
neilvan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


Tasty looking buds snowblind-2! What strain is that?

Lots of great suggestions here already but I thought I would toss this one into the ring as well...

I have been using a Sunwayfoto Macro Focusing Rail with Screw-Knob Clamp for a little over a year now, smooth operation and fits in the bag a little easier that the bigger units suggested above. It's not automated however...just old-school manual adjustments.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1337836-REG/sunwayfoto_mfr_150s_macro_focusing_rail_with.html



Mar 06, 2020 at 11:28 PM
ahreno
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


Thank you. Nice photos as well. One thing I found that worked well was to buy a replacement tip of a drill off Amazon and use that to clamp down on the bud stem to hold it. It has some.weoght so it usually stands up good without being tippy
A little clay or putty if needed

So the rail you linked is $320, that's about what I paid for the motorized rail. Is there any reason to not just use it instead of a manual one?

snowblind-2 wrote:
Might be your lucky day.

Kirk has two of their slide focusing rails on sale on their blemished page. 7.5" and 5.5" rails that include a rotatable clamp for $90. https://www.kirkphoto.com/blemished-demo/miscellanous.html

I still recommend the geared rail but for less than 1/3 the price the slide is a very good option.

Matt




Mar 06, 2020 at 11:43 PM
sjms
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


you might find that sometimes automation can get in the way and keeping things simple can produce a higher level of precision.

KISS



Mar 07, 2020 at 07:42 AM
Samureye
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Any $300 or less focus rail suggestions?


I have this mechanical/non-electric one:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QSDXSVJ/ref=dp_cerb_2

It works for me, is reasonably priced and solid (all metal).



Mar 09, 2020 at 04:35 PM
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